Rusland Horizons is a wide-ranging, community-based landscape scheme put together by the Rusland Valley & Fells Landscape Partnership. Heritage Lottery funding has been approved from 2016 to 2019. The area’s scattered populations of red squirrels are at risk, and Westmorland Red Squirrels is leading Rusland’s Reds, the squirrel management component of the plan so that red squirrels can survive and thrive. Work began in earnest in September 2016 involving monitoring existing red and grey squirrel populations, controlling grey squirrels and establishing a long-term commitment by residents to protect their red squirrels in years to come. If you are interested in knowing more or getting involved find out more from the Rusland Horizons website or contact our Secretary at:
Three Valleys Plus Project
This project, in the Longsleddale, Kentmere and Troutbeck valleys and the area across to Coniston, received £15,000 of grant support between 2013 and 2014 from the Lake District National Park Authority and £4,000 from Red Squirrels Northern England. The project is now complete but our work in the area continues with help from Red Squirrels Northern England and a range of volunteer-led activity including red squirrel monitoring, grey squirrel control, fund-raising and increasing awareness in the local communities.
Southern Area Project
This project covers the southern part of our area, including Arnside and Silverdale. A First TransPennine Express/Forestry Commission Green Grant has paid for traps and cameras. We were also awarded a grant from the Red Squirrel Survival Trust’s Grey Control Fund for volunteer expenses, which we have supplemented to cover contractor payments. Our aim is to increase grey control over the whole area while also developing a shared strategy for red squirrel protection with large landowners and conservation organisations.
Grizedale Red Squirrels
Our 2 year Heritage Lottery Funded project based in Grizedale Forest is now completed. You can read about it here>>
Cumbria Community Foundation
In December 2016 we were awarded £1000 by Cumbria Community Foundation from the Holehird Trust to pay for volunteer travel expenses over the coming year. This will help us with vital conservation work to protect red squirrels in South Lakeland.
Lake District Communities Fund
In May 2015 we received £3520 from the Lake District National Park Authority for vital equipment to help us monitor and manage squirrels. Thanks to this grant we were able to buy two thermal imaging cameras, four wildlife cameras and two global positioning system (GPS) devices. The thermal image cameras help us spot the warm blooded squirrels more easily, particularly in dense foliage while the wildlife cameras, which operate remotely, triggered by animal movements, help us to know whether we have grey or red squirrels – and sometimes other animals – coming to our feeders. The GPS devices help us accurately to locate and find our feeders and traps, which saves valuable volunteer time, particularly when working in remote or difficult terrain.
In December 2014, we received a fantastic grant of £250 from Lakeland, the kitchenware store, which has its headquarters in Windermere. We really appreciate practical support of this kind, which helps us with our day-to-day activities in protecting our precious red squirrels.
Cumbria Community Foundation
Cumbria Community Foundation have kindly awarded us £1,000 from their HSBC Fund. This will help us with our marketing to attract more members, grants and donations, and with software to manage our accounts more efficiently.
Cumbria County Council
We have received a Community Grant from Cumbria County Council for wildlife cameras to help with work in the Troutbeck valley.